Ester’s Fearless Inventory — Step 4
STEP 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Lamentations 3:40
Most of us hesitate at the idea of making a searching and fearless moral inventory. Rationalizations and excuses for avoiding this step abound. The bottom line is that we know there is an enormous amount of fear facing the emotions that this step will bring, but through this step we can build strong character and grow closer to becoming the person God wants us to be.
When Ester was probably no more than a teen she was selected to join the King’s harem and be his queen, but her cousin, Mordecai, instructed her not to tell anyone of her Jewish descent. King Xerxes was hardly an ideal husband. He was known to dispose or kill the people close to him at a mere whim. Ester, as one of God’s chosen people, must have often wondered why she had become queen.
A man named Haman rose to the position of prime minister, and Mordecai enraged Haman by not bowing down to him. To get revenge, Haman sought the destruction of all the Jews in the Persian Empire. Ester faced an important choice and sought God as she took stock of her personal inventory. Her first choice was to avoid the situation. She knew that people who arrived to talk to the King unannounced faced certain death, but Mordecai told her that she still would not be safe if she did not step forward in faith and consider what God wanted her to do. Even then, Ester could have justified the situation, wanting someone else to take responsibility, but in the end, after much prayer and consideration, she took the fearless step of talking to the King about her Hebrew descent.
Ester’s soul searching is like the steps of a truly fearless 4th Step. Ester sought direction from her trusted cousin much the same as we might seek support from our sponsor, but Ester still could have denied her role in this situation. She could have rationalized that someone else should take the responsibility, but she chose to step forward in faith, and before doing so, she prayed. Prayers to God for guidance, strength and protection are pivotal to searching fearlessly in our moral inventory.
Ester’s Key Verse for Step 4
“Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for these days, not night or day. My maids and I will do the same.” Ester 4:16
Examine your heart
- Mordecai acted like a good sponsor encouraging Ester to focus in on her part and continue with a moral inventory. Do you have a sponsor you can count on to help guide you through the steps?
- When considering Step 4, have there been times you’ve wanted to put the responsibility on others and not accept your part of the inventory?
- How has your prayer life affected your 4th Step and your program?
This story comes from the first five chapters of Ester. The book of Ester is located on page 632 of the second edition of The Life Recovery Bible. The book of Ester offers the following recovery themes: Hope for the Helpless, God’s Faithfulness, The Emptiness of Hatred, and Dealing with Pressures.